Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finding joy in hard times

I have a few things left that I want to share on this last day of the week of Joy. The first is a small book that was given to me by my friend Julie after we lost Cole. She was one of the first people to reach out to me in the first few days after we learned he was gone. She reached out because, sadly, she got it...she'd been there. Not in our exact shoes but she knew what it was like to find out that the bundle of joy you'd hoped to hold in your arms would, instead, be a child you can only hold forever in your heart. I had planned to share this one Tuesday but I forgot. It is a book that made me cry but then suddenly made me feel joy....

Born to Fly - An Infant's Journey to God
by Cindy Claussen

A miracle happened.
A life has begun.
"Are you there, God?"
"Yes, I am here, Nathan," the Lord whispered.
"Where am I?"
"You are in the womb of your mother," God smiled.
"I feel warmth on my back" Nathan whispered.
"Yes, she is rubbing her stomach, caressing you the best she can right now. She is speaking to me, Nathan. She is asking me to care for you."
"I'll kick her back, so she knows I love her, too," Nathan said excitedly.
God smiled
"Now what is she saying, God?"
"Your mother is laughing, Nathan."
"She is happy, isn't she God?"
"Yes Nathan. She is happy."
" I hear a different sound. What is that?"
"It is the voice of your dad, Nathan."
"He sounds strong," Nathan said.
"Yes," answered God.
"Does he love me, too?"
"More than his own life," God whispered.
"When do I get to see him, God?"
"Not for awhile, my son."

"I'm not feeling so well, God."
"I know my son, but soon you will fly."
"I will fly?"
"Yes." God smiled.
"Will my mother fly with me?"
"Someday," God said.
"I think I'm ready," Nathan whispered.
"I know, my child."
"Is it time to fly now, God?"
"Yes," God said gently and wiped his eyes.
"When will I see You, God?"
"Very soon, my son."

"Is that my mother and dad?"
"Yes, Nathan," God said and pulled the child onto His lap.
"Why are they crying?"
"They cry for you, my child," God answered as He wrapped His arms around the boy.
"Why do they cry for me?" Nathan asked.
"Because they want to hold you in their arms, Nathan."
"But instead, You hold me in Your arms, huh, God?"
'Yes, son," God said.
"Why does that make them sad, God? I like it in your arms!"
"They love you very much Nathan. It can make a mommy's and daddy's heart sad when they don't get to hold their children - I know how it feels to watch my child die."
"Have I died, God?"
"Just on earth, Nathan."
"I don't feel dead,I feel very much alive! Watch how fast I can fun!" Nathan crawled down from God's lap.
"Yes, Nathan, you are fast." God clapped.
"Now watch me fly!" Nathan said as he soared high.
"You are amazing!" God laughed.
Nathan settled back in the safety of God's arms and said, "When will my parents fly, God?"
"Someday, my child."
"Will we fly together?"
"Yes, Nathan, my mark is on their foreheads."
"Good," Nathan said. "Will you tell them I am safe and happy?"
"I will comfort them, my child."
"Will they be happy again?"
"Yes, child. They will heal."
"And someday we will all get to be with You, huh, God?"
"Yes, Nathan. Someday," God promised.
"I love you, God" Nathan said as he snuggled close to God.
"I love you too, son," God said as he put His hand on Nathan's head.
"Take good care of my parents until they fly!" Nathan said.
"I promise," God whispered.

It gives me such joy to know that my children were all connected so strongly to God as they grew in my womb. They talked to Him, laughed with Him, shared with Him. He protected them. And in Cole's final moments, God was there with both my boys. Guiding one child to him and comforting his brother as his twin and best friend hugged him one last and said goodbye. It brings me joy to know that God was and is taking care of Cole in Heaven and that He has promised him that we will be reunited again. I debated about saving this story for the end of this blogging project as it encompasses all the themes of advent for me... hope, love, joy and peace. I have such hope that I will see my son and all of my loved ones again. I am filled with love the Father God and for my children. I am filled with joy when I think of that love. And most of all, this book brings me such peace...just an overwhelming sense of peace that God is looking after all of us, that He is sad that we are sad, that He remembers what it is like to see your child die and because of that He knows just how to comfort us and that He will take care of us until we fly.

The other piece I want to share today is my own. The original thoughts and feelings occurred 3 years ago on Monday after we had gone down for an MRI on Cameron's brain three years ago today. After Cole passed away, our once healthy donor, Cameron, became suddenly very sick. They knew he was extremely anemic and weren't sure if they should do a blood transfusion to save him...they might just be saving a very sick baby, one that wouldn't ever be healthy. But they decided to do it and then had us come for an MRI to check the damage to his brain. On that day, December 19/08, two days after the MRI, we learned that our unborn son was going to be perfectly fine, there were no significant signs of brain damage. Oh the joy we felt...
an excerpt from my book based on emails and messages sent around that time

Yesterday we traveled to Toronto to meet with the special pregnancy team at Mt. Sinai. After much scanning and discussions we were given the joyful results that baby Cameron is a normal 24.5 week baby in every development area. The MRI that I had on Wednesday showed no brain damage or signs of lack of oxygen. His MCA, which is the input levels of blood in his brain that will be monitored for the remainder of the pregnancy have dropped from 60 on Sat. afternoon, to 52 post blood transfusion on Sunday to 37 yesterday....which is within the normal range. He weighs 602 grams, which makes him a viable baby should he be born anytime soon. ...though this is not likely to happen.
We are now only dealing with the very high risks of the remainder of this pregnancy. Due to the hole that was made between Cameron's and Cole's sacs this is now considered a monoamniotic pregnancy and means that the cords could become compressed at any time. It is less likely to happen because Cole is not moving around and should it happen it will not likely become an issue till after 28 weeks. So I will be heavily monitored for this and Cameron will be heavily monitored for growth, development and any further complications from the ordeal that has already occurred. But all in all, it is definitely a moment of Joy!

I am so very grateful for those journal entries, so glad I can go back and read how I was doing then and remember that there were, indeed, moments of Joy. Each time Cameron moved and kicked was a moment of joy, each day I remained pregnant was a moment of joy. And these.....

these were moments of profound joy.

I made it...I made it through this week with minimal sadness, tears or depressive moments. I made it through with absolutely no anger. I made it through by remembering, honoring, celebrating, loving and living. Boy was I wrong last year... this day will not always be about sadness!

1 comment: